Shule Pepe is a new online platform which, at least in theory, could be used to teach approx. 11 million students in Kenya. It is seamlessly scalable as the number of servers and connections grow with the number of users. The project is co-funded by DEG, a parastatal institution in Germany which supports innovative projects in Africa.
The platform may be accessed by all students in Kenya who are registered with a school in the country. Lessons are held producing video streams of either recorded material or live transmissions. Recording and transmitting takes place in the newly constructed media center located in Ukunda, Kwale County. The Centre has 16 studios equipped with state-of-the-art technology and is completely solar powered, with a 130kv generator backup.
Learning material may be accessed and downloaded during or before and after the official teaching hours so students may easily catch up if they missed lessons. However they are advised not to, as missing too many lessons seriously affects their grading which is also based on their attendance.
Test, quizzes,notes,assignments and even exams are conducted online. During live lessons, students may ask (written) questions anytime and will almost immediately receive a reply as there is always enough teaching staff online to support the teacher in the studio. Enrollments, payment and administration is completely online, reducing the cost of operations significantly. Shule Pepe is available for every school which needs to adapt to the requirements of the COVID pandemic.
Most schools find it very difficult to maintain their services without huge investments and heavily increased costs. Shule Pepe allows partner schools to manage and monitor the performance of their students online, enabling them to decrease their operational costs significantly while maintaining, sometimes even increasing the quality of education. Mekaela Academies,a group of six private schools in Kwale County, is the launching customer and first partner school of Shule Pepe. So far, nearly 70 other private schools have expressed interest in joining he platform.